Activities and Program Overview
Annual Western Regional Conference
Heritage University, USC, Stanford University, Berkeley, UCLA, Whittier, and Cal Tech Mellon programs collaborate to host an annual regional conference. The conference provides an opportunity for fellows to socialize, discuss resaerch ideas, and motivate each other to succeed in their academic and personal lives. It is typically held near the end of the fall semester (late October to mid-November), at one of the seven campuses.
Graduate Preparation Workshops
Several times each semester, you will have the opportunity to participate in interesting, intense, and interactive grad prep workshops and dialogues. They will provide critical information geared toward helping you succeed and thrive in the culture of Academia at the graduate school level. They may include the following:
- Choosing Supportive Graduate School Mentors/Committee Members
- Contributing to an Ongoing Dialogue: Graduate Level Writing and Research
- Conduting the Literatuer Review
- Constructing a Proposal for Research
- Reading “en masse” (hints for survival)
- Transitioning into the Culture of the Academy
- Engaging the Graduate Application Process:
- Searching for Graduate Programs
- Learning the Acronyms: TA, GA, RA, ABD, Ph.D., etc.
- Preparing for the GRE and Subject Tests
- Writing the Letter of Intent or Personal Statement
- Negotiating Deadlines for your Department and the Graduate School
- Connecting with Fellow Scholars
- Financing your Graduate School Education
- Communicating your Research (Presentation Skills)
At least two mandatory Mellon Workshop Days will be scheduled during each semester.
These days will include several workshop topics and/or will be designated for assisted library or internet research and writing support. These Workshop Days will not exempt the Fellow from any pre-determined requirements for weekly mentor meetings/contact, and/or additional support sessions with the Mellon Fellowship Coordinator or other designated staff persons. Additionally, Book Group meetings/discussions are counted separately as are colloquiums, roundtables, presentations, conferences, etc.
To reinforce the concept that research is a dialogue, Mellon Fellows will participate in one scheduled roundtable event per semester. This is a fairly informal meeting in which select faculty, students and other interested parties, i.e. research librarians, meet to discuss specific research ideas and share resources. This is intended to be an enriching experience. The Mellon Fellow takes the lead in both scheduling the roundtable and in initiating the discussion. Depending on the scheduling, it can offer an opportunity for identifying and/or honing a problem statement, receiving guidance on gleaning key articles from a Literature Review for synthesis, further developing a thesis, finding additional resources for a specific element of the research, etc. The idea is that the Mellon Fellow, through this process will practice scholarly discussion in their field of research in a safe and supportive environment. The Mellon Coordinator will observe and offer feedback. The Mellon “Round Tables” comprise the annual event instituted by the current coordinator of the Mellon Program (Dr. Winona Wynn) and titled, “Gathering of Scholars” September 2011 will constitute our 4thannual event.
Research University Colloquia
In the fall, Mellon Fellows will have the opportunity to attend a colloquium in our region. Several area research universities are significantly committed to the idea of departmental dialogues. Both the University of Washington and Washington State University regularly feature accessible talks by leading experts from the region, the nation and the world. For example, in the recent past the University of Washington Computer Science and Engineering Colloquium hosted speakers from Colorado State University, Harvard, Rutgers, Cornell, and the University of Hawaii. Also recently, the Anthropology Colloquium at Washington State University featured a speaker from the University of California, Davis, and the Sociology Department hosted a speaker from the University of Texas, Austin. Attending a colloquium offers good exposure to the level of process at the graduate level, and in addition offers opportunities for networking. Possible dates and specific colloquia will be discussed.
Fellows Book Group and Accompanying Blog – http://www.heritagebookies.blogspot.com
We will be implementing a summer reading group, and the text for this spring/ summer (2011) is titled, A Hope in the Unseen. The book will be provided for all incoming Mellon Fellows and for any ongoing Fellows who may be interested. Previous to writing the book, the author, Ron Suskind won the Pulitzer Prize for several articles he submitted to the Washington Post which chronicled the life of the book’s subject, Cedric Jennings, an inner city youth who graduated from Ballou High School in Washington, D.C., an MIT intensive summer program, as well as both Brown and Harvard University.
We will meet as a book group once a week either face-to-face or online. Regardless of students’ research interests, investigating the journey of Cedric will present parallels of critical race and cultural explorations that will help students examine ways in which their own social locations (historical, economic, gendered, and racialized) inform critical inquiry, influence how they pose questions, and impact how varied audiences may perceive and/or receive their research. On our first meeting, we will negotiate and confirm a reading schedule for this text.
Our blog site will host our commentaries and questions about the book we will be reading. Also, we will be posting pictures of our various group activities: the introductory breakfast at the Cultural Center, the regional conference, interactions with mentors, etc. We will also have a space for listing research materials in your discipline that you found especially useful. We can talk about adding other segments you may find particularly interesting.
Faculty Mentors Book Group (sorry, no accompanying blog)
To kick off our faculty mentoring commitment to the Mellon Fellowship and to compare notes on strategies for getting our nascent scholars through the first few months, we need to conduct our first collective meeting fairly early on (to be announced). At that time we will preview the book we will be reading as a group (Getting Mentored in Graduate School, by W. Brad Johnson and Jennifer M. Huwe), as well as discuss specific mentoring strategies. Times and places for the suggested “mentor meeting” will be negotiated.
At each book group meeting, the coordinator will present highlights and reference/resource sheets based on these additional text: Mentor: Guiding the Journey of Adult Learners, by Laurent A. Daloz, and The Mentor’s Guide: Facilitating Effective Learning Relationships, by Lois J. Zachary.
Activities & Program Overview
How to Apply
The Mellon Family
Winona Wynn, PhD (Nakota, Hohe)
Associate Professor of Humanities; Ethnic Literature
Coordinator, Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship
Institutional and Summer Coordinator, The Leadership Alliance